It was our second day at the beach and darned if it didn’t dawn brilliantly sunny with blue skies as far as we could see. We celebrated by walking from our yurt to the beach at South Beach State Park.
I have loved camping and hiking all my life. When Tara was in middle school, I would beg them to go willingly with me into the wild, but – asserting their newly found independence – Tara would refuse. One year, on Mother’s Day, Tara asked what kind of gift I wanted. I said, “I don’t want flowers or a card or anything you could purchase. If you really want to treat me for Mother’s Day, join me with a good attitude for a night out camping.” “UGH. FINE,” was the response. The following year, Tara was the one who asked, “Can we go camping again for Mother’s Day?” And thus a tradition was born.
This year Tara was the one who suggested two nights instead of one. It’s the first Mother’s Day for 18 years that Tara is not in school, and it feels like a luxury. We reveled in the extended time to catch up and reconnect.
The jetties are piles of huge rocks that serve to both control the shifting sands of the beaches, and to eliminate complicated currents and allow boats to pass safely into the harbor. We walked to the nearest one, the south jetty. Tara, a recently graduated geology student, got interested in the rocks right away.
When rocks are weather-beaten, as these are, it’s hard to identify them and apparently geologists can break rocks open to get more information from the inside of the rock. I watched with amusement as Tara began throwing a rock around.
As I clambered around on the rocks to get photos, I began noticing the memorials. While jetties can make the harbor exit and entrance safer, nothing can make the sea completely safe. These are clearly to remember people who died at sea.
After we had had enough sunshine and beach time, we headed back toward the campground. It was such a magnificent day that we delayed our plans to get an early start heading back toward home.
We found a park bench in the shade of a tree and sat for another half an hour, chatting and watching birds flit through the trees around us.
Finally we had to face the facts that it was time to check out of the yurt and go home. We had packed before we left, so all that we had to do on return was a final sweep to look for anything we missed, and then we locked it up and dropped the key off at the visitor information building at the campground entrance.
We had missed breakfast in order to play at the beach. It was now lunchtime and we were ravenous. We somehow found excellent parking in the rather crowded part of oceanside Newport. The first place to catch our eye was Nana’s Irish Pub and we entered starving. We were not disappointed.
At Nana’s we were seated quickly because we showed up after the typical lunchtime, so there were tables open at this very popular restaurant. Tara ordered the Taigue’s Delight, which is Irish style sausages smothered in seasoned apples and onions sauteed in Magners hard cider, served with mashed potatoes, and a side of mushroom gravy. I ordered Galway Cod Au Gratin, which is wild caught NW cod, topped with Tillamook sharp cheddar, stone-ground mustard and cream, baked to a bubbly goodness. Served atop mashed potatoes. Both with peas and Irish soda bread. We practically licked the plates clean. We took an order of Scotch eggs to go for Cameron.
With full bellies we turned east to head for home. Newport is an hour and 15 minutes due west of where Tara lives, in Albany, Oregon. I took Tara home and dropped them off. After saying hi to their partner, Cameron, hugs and kisses all around, I then made the hour and 15 minute drive to Pedro’s house in Portland, where I stopped for the day. I made the final one hour drive home the following day. It felt so good to reconnect with my loved ones.